For me theres nothing like driving around the country lanes of Kent as seeing the hedgerows in full bloom, the hop farms and oast houses stir up so many memories of times past. Part of my family, the Brown's have lived in Kent for over 400 years and although I haven't lived in this part of the country myself for over half my life being back here reminds me so much of my childhood, when I was a youth I used to drive through these very hedgerows listening to stories told to me by my grandfather, stories of the old days when the fruit and hop picking work was plentiful in these parts. Although those days are long gone its nice to see many Romany and traveller people have settled here over the years, I have seen many traveller sites as we drove round these lanes, everyone of them very clean and well kept, its clear to see the pride and love that has been put into their family homes and surroundings. Those that live on sites like these are the lucky ones as they have been granted permission to legally live on their land, many are not so lucky and have their applications constantly denied due to locals and tory councillours objecting. You hear things like we don't want them in our back yard, their messy, their thieves, they can't be trusted, not in our village blah blah blah. I mean literally if you said that about any other race on earth you would rightly so be labelled a racist, it simply isn't true and it isnt fair to judge people on stereo types and misconceptions, you need to get to know each other like you would any other neighbour. The English Romany have a very rich culture and a very long history with this green and pleasant land going back to the 1600's, especially in Kent and the South east, the travelling fairs and the shows that the Rom have put on over the centuries are as much part of English culture as fish n chips are and deserve to be treated as such. The potato arrived on these shores from South America roughly around the same time as the first Romany travellers did.
Times have changed but the fairs, fates and festivals in the UK are still one of the highlights of the summer, on top of that they provide an income for the nomadic communities who work and live on the road, a lifestyle that is once again under threat due to the incoming anti trespass laws.
We arrived at small world Sunday evening and what a beautiful site it was to see the festival up n running again after all the bat flu madness. There is something very magical about Small world, its old school and the crew are like a family, they have been working together for many years and all play their part in making this festival one of the best small festivals in the country, so much love and work goes into putting this event on and it was such a pleasure to be serving the crew food again. Over the festival we cooked more than 2000 meals and have been working non stop to keep the crew fuelled up, we did our very best to have food available from 8am till 11pm which is a tough gig but we came well prepared and the amount of appreciation, compliments and gratitude we received kept us going to the very end.
Thank you Small world, the music, the vibe and the atmosphere was amazing, its been an absolute pleasure to be here and we have all enjoyed ourselves very much.🙏❤
Were just packing up and heading back to the yard for a few says rest before heading down to Somerset to set up for what promises to be another amazing weekend, the return of Glastonbury festival, now thats going to be one to remember.